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Jordanian engineers ‘safe, well’ after Kazakhstan assault

Ministry requests clarifying incident to ‘misled Kazakhstani public opinion’

By JT - Jul 01,2019 - Last updated at Jul 01,2019

Jordan’s Ambassador in Kazakhstan Yousef Abdul Ghani poses for a photo with Jordanian engineers working at a construction company in Kazakhstan, following an assault on the company’s Arab employees, in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — All Jordanians who were assaulted at the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) site in Tengiz are “doing well and receiving the proper medical care and attention from the Kazakhstani authorities”, Jordanian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Yousef Abdul Ghani said on Sunday. 

The Foreign Ministry said the ambassador had arrived to Atyrau, Khazakhstan, to check on the condition of five Jordanian engineers who were injured on Saturday after they and other Arab employees were attacked by locals due to what was reported to be a “personal dispute”, a ministry statement said.

Circulated videos on Saturday purpotedly showed employees being beaten up at a CCC site in Tengiz, 2,200km from the capital Astana, which employs 107 Jordanian nationals, but the ministry reported that all Jordanians were transported to safety and are in good condition.

In a Tweet on Sunday, Safadi also assured that the Jordanian employees in Kazakhstan are safe and are currently residing in a hotel surrounded by security personnel. 

Safadi added that the Kingdom’s Embassy in Kazakhstan is following up with the relevant authorities to protect their rights and ensure their security. 

Kazakhstani authorities have taken “all precautions” and the situation has de-escalated, the minister said, pointing to coordination with the CCC’s director in Kazakhstan. 

Upon the request of the Foreign Ministry, Kazakhstani authorities transported all the Jordanians to Atyrau city on Saturday as part of measures to guarantee their safety.

Meanwhile, in a meeting on Sunday, Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry Zeid Lozi and newly appointed Kazakhstani Ambassador to Jordan Aidarabek Tumatov, whose credentials Lozi received during the meeting, discussed the latest developments in the incident. 

Tumatov affirmed his country’s respect and appreciation of the Jordanian leadership and added that Kazakhstan is dedicated to developing bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields. 

Lozi requested that Tumatov clarify the circumstances of the incident and the reasons behind “misled Kazakhstani public opinion”, adding that there were no connections between the Jordanian engineers and the perceived cause of the problem, which was reported to be a personal dispute that began in light of a “moral transgression”.

Lozi also asked the ambassador to carry the concerns of the Kingdom’s leadership and its people regarding the safety of its nationals, stressing the necessity to provide protection in anticipation of any escalation. 

The Foreign Ministry’s secretary general also highlighted the need for an official investigation into the causes and aftermath of the altercation to protect the rights of the Jordanian engineers. 

Tumatov extended his country’s understanding and apologies for the incident, promising to deliver Jordan’s concerns to the Kazakhstani government so that it may adopt the necessary precautions “as soon as possible”. 

He assured that photos and videos circulated online do not depict any Jordanians, adding that if any Jordanian wants to come back to the Kingdom, the ministry will coordinate with Kazakhstani authorities and the company’s administration on the issue. 

The statement said that a security meeting will be held today in Kazakhstan in the presence of the ambassador, company officials and Kazakhstani security and judicial institutions to discuss the latest developments in the investigation.

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